Legal Issues

Squeamish Librarians

Mary Minow sent along This Story from Reason.com on the MN 12.

Something I learned from this story, that I don\'t recall from all the others was According to press accounts, the EEOC is encouraging the library to settle the case by paying the librarians a total of $900,000.
The author sympathizes with the librarians, but says under the First Amendment, the librarians ought not be able to use the federal government, and the threat of massive legal liability, to force the library into making this decision.

\"This is just the latest great leap forward for harassment law. Harassment law already forces employers to suppress sexually suggestive displays (not by any means limited to pornography), sexual jokes, politically offensive statements, and religious proselytizing.\"

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NYT Book Reviews back issues before 1996 Gone

Mary Minow writes \"One of our eagle-eyed bibliographers found This Today on the NY Times site:

\"Search The New York Times on the Web Books

* Books Archive: For the past four years, it has been our pleasure to provide a full-text search of the New York Times Books archive of reviews, news and author interviews dating back to 1980.

To comply with a recent United States Supreme Court decision, we are limiting that search to the period from January 1, 1996 to the present. In the period prior to 1996, The Times typically did not have written agreements with freelance book reviewers to permit republishing reviews in
electronic form.

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A New York Library and University of Pittsburgh Clash Over Documents

This sounds almost like a custody battle of sorts, but it\'s over some documents. They\'ll either go to one library, or the other, or they\'ll \"visit\" both. [more...] from The Pittsburgh Tribune Review. Even more here from The Pittsburgh Post Gazzette.

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Happy Valentine\'s Day CIPA

The U.S. District Court in Philadelphia Tuesday ordered February 14, 2002 as the date for a civil suit to overturn the Children\'s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). [more...] from NewsBytes.

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Talk About High Turnover

People at the Lee County Library System in Florida seem to have trouble holding onto emplyees. Since 1999, they have lost ten administrators. Some blame the director. [more...] from News Press.

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US Supreme Court rules in freelance writers case

Someone writes \"The Supreme Court ruled today that database vendors such as LEXIS need the consent of freelance journalists to reproduce their articles and photographs.

Full Story from CNN\"

The court ruled 7-2 that compilation in an electronic database is different from other kinds of archival or library storage of material that once appeared in print. So now companies need writers permission before stories go online. The case is New York Times v. Tasini, 00-201

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Will Libraries Find Themselves Ensnared In Web of Double Standards?

From the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal...

\"America\'s public library systems may find themselves caught in a sort of legal hell, where they face First Amendment lawsuits if they move to restrict Internet access and civil-rights lawsuits if they don\'t. It could also mean a curious double standard, under which restrictions on Internet usage and access to protect children from X-rated material are legally forbidden while the same restrictions would be required to protect librarians themselves from a hostile work environment.\" [more...]

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New bill in Congress Inflicts More On Libraries

Mary Minow writes \"Rep. Felix Grucci introduced a bill May 15 to amend section 254 of the Communications Act of 1934 to require schools and libraries receiving universal service assistance to block access to Internet services that enable users to access the World Wide Web and transfer electronic mail in an anonymous manner. This Act is cited as the `Who Is E-Mailing Our Kids Act\'.

A library would need to certify that it`(i) is enforcing a policy regarding anonymous Internet connection that includes the operation of a technology protection measure with respect to any of its computers with Internet access that prevents use of such computers to access an online privacy service that enables a user--

`(I) to send electronic mail anonymously; or

`(II) to access the World Wide Web anonymously; and

`(ii) is enforcing the operation of such technology protection measure during any use of such computers.\';

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query Look up H.R. 1846 \"

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The State of Copyright Etc...

Worldwide Copyrights a Quagmire? from Wired on The Hague Convention.

Free Software Leaders Stand Together is an interesting rebuttle to some dumb things Microsoft said.

CNET has Professor warns of threat to free speech on how bad things are getting.

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DMCA Misses the Mark

eCompany has a nice Story on the DMCA.

They say Media companies are quick to invoke the DMCA but it won\'t work. The DMCA is clearly losing the war being fought against it on two fronts.
1. The law is being invoked in cases where its ability to deter anybody\'s behavior is questionable
2. It\'s being used to preempt rights that are close to Americans\' hearts.

R.I.P. stupid law

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